Sticky Fingers = False Highs


I know this may seem obvious to many of you.  When you’ve handled something sweet, you wash your hands or wipe your finger before testing right? 

I thought I’d make a short post about this because I didn’t think of this before recently when my husband made me aware of it. 

Ever since, I’ve sometimes seen a 180 or a 200-something on the meter that didn’t make sense because I felt fine.  So I washed my hands and “oh ok, there we go, 120, that sounds better”. 

So maybe I’m not the only one who could go so many years without this info (which yes, is common sense but may still escape us)

Thinking back, I’m sure some of the crazy lows I had in the past could be due to this.  I’d test, see a high number, give insulin, and 15 minutes later be really low and have to treat, and treat again, until finally stabilizing.  I’d think, “wow, that insulin worked fast”.  Pshh.  If only I had known before.

So if you don’t always ensure your fingers are clean, beware of false high readings.  Once you correct with insulin, they turn into scary low blood sugar readings, quite quickly.  If you’ve handled food, try to wash your hands or wipe your finger to be pricked with an alcohol swab. 

And if you see something over 250 and it just doesn’t seem right, test again.  Don’t be afraid of using another test strip.  I once saw a 380, tested again after washing my hands, and found I was 155.  Can you imagine the low I would have had?

5 thoughts on “Sticky Fingers = False Highs

  1. Melissa E

    It seems like common sense, yet I do that all time! I do try to wash my hands before I test but I don’t always and I have definitely had some weird numbers…of course sometimes I see that 250 and hope its because of something on my hand only to find out…nope my BS is just high :-(

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